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Jeremy Lamb may not be the most media savvy player in college hoops, but the young freshman might just be the difference between UConn winning its third national championship and going home as just a Final Four participant.
The Huskies have won nine straight postseason games and will face Kentucky in the Final Four Saturday for a shot at the championship game. One of their most valuable players this tournament has been Jeremy Lamb, who’s supplemented the stellar play of Kemba Walker. But before we go further talking about Jeremy Lamb, we must flashback to 1984 to understand how this story has evolved.
Lamb is the son of Rolando Lamb, a former VCU guard from the 80s who hit a game-winning shot in the tournament to defeat Jim Calhoun’s Northeastern squad in 1984. When Calhoun, the UConn coach since 1986, first called Lamb as a recruit, he had no idea that his father was Rolando. Upon finding it out, he told the elder Lamb that he owed him something — his son as payback for the shot in ’84. Rolando delivered, and Jeremy attended UConn and has become more meaningful for the Huskies than anyone could have imagined.
The freshman from Norcross, Georgia didn’t see many minutes the first part of the season. In 10 of the team’s first 15 games, Lamb played fewer than 25 minutes, and he only attempted more than 10 shots three times. But in the team’s win over Villanova in Storrs, Lamb scored 14 points and began to show off his shooting prowess going 2-5 from three-point range. He had six strong games after that, including his first 20-point efforts of the season, but then he fell back and became less productive over the next month.
It wasn’t until the postseason began that Lamb truly started to show his importance for the Huskies.
UConn won nine games in 19 days once the postseason started — five in the Big East tournament and four in the NCAA tournament. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Lamb has played his best ball of the season during this span.
Since tournament season began, Lamb has averaged 16 points per game while shooting 54.6% from the field and 55.6% on three pointers. His best game of the season came in the Sweet 16 against San Diego State when he went 9-11 from the field and made all three of his threes while tying a season high with 24 points.
UConn will meet Kentucky on Saturday evening in Houston in the second of the two Final Four games. The fourth-seeded Wildcats are coming off back-to-back wins over Ohio State — the top overall seed in the tourney — and North Carolina, the two seed from the East region. The ball will likely be in Kemba Walker’s hands if it becomes a close game, but you can bet that Jeremy Lamb will be there to help keep them in it. If UConn is to win it all, there is little doubt Jeremy Lamb will be the key. Now all he needs to do is keep pounding Muscle Milk to help pack on some weight for the future. After all, Muscle Milk helps you become the best that YOU can be, and Lamb has certainly shown us his best lately.Google+
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